You know one of the most challenging things and often the number one reason we fail to be witnesses for Jesus Christ comes down to a fear of rejection. To be honest this is probably true about most areas of life. However, this morning I am writing about how we serve God. I know sometimes it is easier to be quite and think that someone else will do it. Been there and have lived it. However, the truth is that God has placed each of us were we are for a reason. Recently I was reading in 1 Samuel and came across a verse that made me stop and realize something important. It is a simple truth when we try to do what God has called us too and people turn their back on us; it is not us that they are rejecting but the God who sent us.
7 And the Lord said to Samuel, "Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 1 Samuel 8:7 (ESV)
In our world today we have more than enough to keep us busy and in most cases those things really do dictate who we are and what we do. Samuel's life is interesting; born to serve in the temple as an offering to God, living and learning under the Eli the High Priest. He served faithfully as the last judge over Israeli for twenty years. Only one day to be told by those he served that they wanted a king to rule them. It would be easy to take this personally. The difference is in our world today when you try to witness about Jesus people are not turning away from you because they want someone to rule over them. They are turning away because they want to rule over themselves.
Paul provides a warning and some understanding for us today about those who have rejected the Gospel message. It is found in Romans 1:18-32;
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:18-32 (ESV)
That list is long; however, Paul also tells us that some of us were once like this but by the grace we have received through Jesus Christ we no longer live this way. Since we have accepted Christ as Lord and Redeemer our lives while not always perfect from the worlds perspective are now made new before God. I leave you with this thought where would you be if the person who told you about Jesus had turned away when you first rejected the Gospel. God has called His people to be proclaimers of the Good News. People may not always appreciate or even accept what you say but if we say it in love God can and will do the rest. When God's love overshadows your witness the rejection is not of you but the one who sent you. Have a blessed day as you seek to serve God wherever He leads you.
Rev. Brian H. Mathis CSC
Ordained Minister Church of God, Cleveland TN
Currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Westminster Baptist Church
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary MDiv in Chaplain Studies